Elves have been working almost non-stop decorating five homes and one church this week for the Muskogee Christmas Home Tour, but a wintry blast has delayed the event until Dec. 14 and 15.
Tickets are $10 at the door of any house with all proceeds going to the Kelly B. Todd Cerebral Palsy and Neuro-Muscular Center in Muskogee where children from the area receive physical therapy.
The tour includes homes of:
• Bill and Jean Goad, 2902 Irving, live in a neighborhood called “candy cane lane” for all the candy cane lights that have lined the streets.
“I’ve never seen a better neighborhood to help,” Jean Goad said. “We’re staying here until we can’t walk.”
Goad said her “little elves” were friends Debbie Byrum, Robin Ross and Jo Boyne. They brought over a few of their holiday decorations and the friends made it a party making the home look festive.
The formal dining room table is set with dishes that include red Fostoria glasses. Jean Goad bought them in a Fostoria store in Oklahoma City because they remind her of her sister, the late Jerry Leos, who died in 1973. She had glasses just like them.
“She sat a great table and always loved those glasses,” Goad said.
The Goad home’s color scheme is red, green and gold year-round. They put up a lot of lights outside, too.
“I love red,” Goad said.
A nativity scene from her friend, Boyne, is on a sofa table in the living room. The Christmas tree in the breakfast area has bears on it courtesy of Byrum. She also decorated a fish tree and wreath in the sun room. There’s a University of Oklahoma tree in the bathroom.
“There’s a tree in every room,” Goad said.
• The Rev. Tom and Micki Shelton, 3408 Canterbury Ave., also have trees in every room. The couple, who has been married just a year, bought their home together in Phoenix Village. It is full of art given by friends or Oriental art she acquired on a month-long trip to China in 1988 with journalists as guests of the Chinese government.
One of his most meaningful Christmas collections is a wooden nativity scene in the upper entry window. It was made by Bill Hearn who was music director at Oldham Baptist Church when Tom Shelton was pastor there. He also considers his grandfather clock as a prized possession.
There is a large tree with family ornaments used in Tom Shelton’s home for years. Theme trees in the home include a penguin tree that Micki Shelton has added to for 33 years; a teacup tree made by her daughter, a cookie tree done in ornaments made by her four children; a western-themed tree collected while she worked for the National Cowboy Museum; and a peacock tree is in the master bedroom decorated with ribbons from their wedding program.
• Floy Miller, 3411 Georgia Ave., called her daughter-in-law, Hazel Miller, her elf. She helped her decorate her Phoenix Village home.
“I got carried away with that tree,” Miller said. “It’s too big.”
The tree reaches her 12-foot ceiling and is covered in red and gold ornaments. Miller and her daughter-in-law had fun shopping in Muskogee for extra Christmas decor such as elves guarding candy, greenery and bows. There’s even a Santa on the fireplace hiding behind his bottle of old crow.
Miller’s friends from Muskogee Twirlers will be hostesses for the tour this weekend. She’ll have goodies on the table.
Her hall bath is inspired by Mardi Gras with purple and green ornaments, and a wreath.
The guest bedroom has a slim pine tree with glass and silver balls and mirrors. Another bedroom has a tree with bird ornaments. She calls it her “outdoor tree.” In the master bedroom is a white tree with raspberry bows and ornaments stands in the corner and a tiny pink tree is decorated in pearls.
“I think my house is lovely,” Miller said.
• Wayne and Lois Ward, 510 N. 13th St., are enjoying the house of Wayne Ward’s dream. After retiring from Alaska, it was the four-story house with about 9,000 square feet that brought them to Muskogee. He watched it for sale on the Internet for two years before buying it from Dr. Robert and Carolyn Gibbs. Cats Lily and Ralph like the staircase, which was an instant draw for him. When a red cardinal landed in the backyard on a visit, Lois Ward decided she would adapt.
It’s their first Christmas in the home. Most of the furnishings they’ve bought since moving to Muskogee in March. She did bring an English chest in the foyer from Alaska.
“She’s the eclectic queen,” he said.
“Our houses are a work in progress,” she said.
Construction started on the home in 1908 and was completed in 1910 built by James W. Zevely, senior partner in a law firm. He became vice president of Sinclair Oil, Lois Ward said. She is doing research on the home. They are impressed with the community and the church.
The formal dining room of the home is one of their favorite rooms with a tall Christmas tree. Lois Ward said Carolyn Gibbs stripped all the white paint off of the dark wooden pocket doors and beamed ceiling. The home has a 2,000-square-foot basement used as a media room.
There are several unique items in the home like the warmer trays from the original butler’s pantry and a 1931 GE Monitor Top refrigerator. There are also call buttons throughout the home to call servants and a governess quarters on the fourth floor. The house has four full baths, three half baths and five bedrooms.
They hope guests on the home tour enjoy their home as much as they do.
The Wards, like the other families opening their doors for the tour, are doing it to help the children at the CP center. Some of them have family or friends who have had services of the center and others just want to help the community.
If you go
WHAT: Muskogee Christmas Home Tour.
WHEN: 1 to 4 p.m. Dec. 14 and 15.
ON TOUR: The Rev. Tom and Micki Shelton, 3408 Canterbury Ave.; Floy Miller, 3411 Georgia Ave.; Bill and Jean Goad, 2902 Irving; Darla Fitzgerald, 1403 W. Okmulgee Ave.; Wayne and Lois Ward, 510 N. 13th St.; and Grace Episcopal Church with Father Bob Wickizer, 218 N. Sixth St.
TICKETS: $10 available at the door or in advance at Economy Pharmacy, Bella Mea’s, Rustic Elegance, Haley and Loyd Jewelry, I’m A Basket Case, Bebb’s Flowers, and Kelly B. Todd Cerebral Palsy and Neuro-Muscular Center.
PROCEEDS: All money goes to the Kelly B. Todd Cerebral Palsy and Neuro-Muscular Center in Muskogee.